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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (a.) Belonging to one; one's own; individual.

2. (a.) Belonging to the natural or essential constitution; peculiar; not common; particular; as, every animal has his proper instincts and appetites.

3. (a.) Befitting one's nature, qualities, etc.; suitable in all respect; appropriate; right; fit; decent; as, water is the proper element for fish; a proper dress.

4. (a.) Becoming in appearance; well formed; handsome.

5. (a.) Pertaining to one of a species, but not common to the whole; not appellative; -- opposed to common; as, a proper name; Dublin is the proper name of a city.

6. (a.) Rightly so called; strictly considered; as, Greece proper; the garden proper.

7. (a.) Represented in its natural color; -- said of any object used as a charge.

8. (adv.) Properly; hence, to a great degree; very; as, proper good.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


1. Various Types

2. Vocalization

3. Transposition of Parts

4. Methods of Abbreviation


1. Personal Names

(1) Not Exclusively Descriptive

(2) Drawn from a Wide Field

(3) Influences Leading to Choice

(4) Popularity of Names: Hard to Determine

2. Geographical Names


1. Derivation of Names Manifest

2. The Narrator's Only Concern

3. Allusions Linked with Names

I. The Form of Hebrew Names.

1. Various Types:

The Hebrew proper name consists of a single word, a phrase, or a sentence.

(1) Where the name is a single word, other than a verb, it may be

(a) a common noun, concrete, as Barak, "lightning," Tola, "crimson worm," Elon, "oak," Achsah, "anklet," Deborah, "bee" or abstract, as Uzzah, "strength," Manoah, "rest," Hannah, "grace"; or either abstract or concrete, as Zebul, "habitation";

(b) a participle, as Saul, "asked," Zeruiah, "cleft";

(c) an adjective, as Ikkesh, "perverse," Maharai, "impetuous," Shimei, "famous"; or

(d) a word that may be either an adjective or an abstract noun according to circumstances. Such are formations after the norm of qaTTul, as shammua`, which are generally adjectives; and formations by means of the ending -am or -on, as Adullam, Zalmon, Gideon, or, with the rejection of the final -n, Shilo(h) and Solomo(n).

(2) The name may be a phrase, consisting of

(a) two nouns, as Penuel, "face of God," Samuel, "name of God," Ish-bosheth, "man of shame"; or

(b) an adjective and a noun, as Jedidiah, "beloved of Yahweh"; or

(c) a preposition and one or more nouns, as Besodeiah, "in the intimacy of Yahweh" (Nehemiah 3:6).

When the name is a sentence, the predicate may be

(a) a noun, the copula being implied, as Abijah, "Yah is a father," Eliab, "God is a father," Elimelech, "God is king"; or

(b) an adjective, as Tobijah, "Yah is good" (Zechariah 6:10); or

(c) a participle, as Obed-edom, "Edom is serving"; or

(d) a finite verb. This last type exhibits five or six varieties: the subject stands before a perfect, as Jonathan, "Yahweh hath given," Jehoshaphat, "Yahweh hath judged," Eleazar, "God hath helped," Elkanah, "God hath formed"; or before an imperfect, as Eliahba, "God hideth Himself"; or the subject comes after a perfect, as Benaiah, "Yahweh hath built," Shephatiah, "Yahweh hath judged," Asahel, "God hath made; or after an imperfect, as Jezreel, "God doth sow." Very often the subject is the pronoun included or implied in the verbal form, as Nathan, "he hath given," Hillel, "he hath praised," Jair, "he enlighteneth," Jephthah, "he openeth." Occasionally the predicate contains an object of the verb, as Shealtiel, "I have asked God" (Ezra 3:2), or a prepositional phrase, as Hephzibah, "my delight is in her" (2 Kings 21:1). The sentence-name is usually a declaration, but it may be an exhortation or a prayer, as Jerub-baal, "let Baal strive," and Hoshea, "save!" (Numbers 13:16), or it may be a question, as Micaiah, "who is like Yahweh?" All of the foregoing illustrations have been taken from the Books of Judges and Samuel, unless otherwise noted.

2. Vocalization:

The proper name is treated as one word, whether on analysis it consists of a single word, a phrase, or a sentence; and as such it is subject to the laws of accent and quantity which govern the Hebrew word.

(1) A common noun used as a name undergoes the variations of pronunciation due to the custom of lengthening a short vowel in pause and to the laws which control the aspiration of certain labials, linguals, and palatals. Thus, the name Perez, "breach," which appears also as Pharez in the King James Version of the Old Testament, occurs in the Hebrew text in the four forms perets, parets, pherets and pharets (Ruth 4:18 Nehemiah 11:4, 6).

(2) In a name consisting of a phrase the normal advance of the accent as usual causes the loss of a pretonic vowel, as is indicated by the suspended letter in Jedidiah, "beloved of Yahweh"; requires a short vowel in a closed unaccented syllable, as in Mahalal'el, "praise of God"; allows contraction, as in Beth-el, "house of God"; and occasions the return of a segholate noun to its primitive form, as in Abdiel, "servant of God," where the vowel i is an archaism which has lingered in compound names, but has generally disappeared elsewhere in speech.

(3) Names which consist of a sentence are also accented as one word, and the pronunciation is modified accordingly. The synonyms Eliam and Ammiel, "God is a kinsman," not only exhibit the common archaism in the retention of the vowel i, but the name Eliam also shows the characteristic lengthening of the vowel in the final accented syllable, so common in nouns. The four forms Eliphelet, Eliphalet, Elpelet and Elpalet, meaning "God is deliverance," represent the variations of the Hebrew due to the causes already mentioned (1 Chronicles 3:8; 1 Chronicles 14:5, 7; see the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)). The requirements regarding the ellsion and the quantity and quality of vowels, on the shifting of the accent, are also regularly met by the various types of sentence-names in which the predicate is a verb Thus, the personal names 'elishama` and 'elnathan (subject followed by verb in the perfect); 'elyaqim, 'elyahba', and yehoyakhin (subject and imperfect); gedhalyah, yekholyahu, barakh'el, in which the first vowel is protected by the implied reduplication of the Piel species, benayah, `asah'el, and `asah-'el, `asi'el, chazah'el and chaza'-el and pedhah'el (perfect and subject); yigdalyahu, yibhneyah, ya`asi'el, yachdi'el, yehallel'el, yesimi'el (imperfect and subject); yerubba`al and yashobh`am (jussive and subject; u in sharpened, and o in closed, syllable; in Jashobeam the first long vowel is retained by a secondary accent, marked by metheg); nathan and yiphtach, i.e. Jephthah. Ibneiah shows the customary apocopation of the imperfect of Lamedh-he verbs; and the names Benaiah to Pedahel show the methods of combining the perfect of such verbs with a following element. The short vowel of the final closed syllable of the imperfect is elided, if the final consonant is permitted to begin the syllable of the next element of the name, as in Jezreel, Jekabzeel, Jerahmeel, Ezekiel, Jehizkiah (see the Hebrew form of these names); but it is not elided in Ishmael, although the consonant is attached to the following syllable; and elision is avoided, as in Jiphthah-el, by keeping the ultimate and penultimate syllables distinct. Jehucal, a Hophal imperfect, is peculiar in not lengthening the vowel in the accented final syllable, when the verb is used as a personal name.

3. Transposition of Parts:

When the name was a sentence in Hebrew, its constituent parts could be transposed without changing the meaning. Thus the father of Bathsheba was called Ammiel, "a kinsman is God," and Eliam, "God is a kinsman" (2 Samuel 11:3 1 Chronicles 3:5); and similarly, in letters written from Palestine to the king of Egypt in the 14th century B.C., Ilimilki is also called Milkili, the name in either form signifying "God is king." Ahaziah, king of Judah, is called Jehoahaz (compare 2 Chronicles 21:17 with 22:1), a legitimate transposition of the verb and subject, and meaning in each case, "Yahweh hath laid hold."

Not only did transposition take place, but the substitution of a cognate root and even the use of a different part of the verb also occurred. Thus King Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:6 Jeremiah 52:31) was known also as Jeconiah (Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 28:4) and Coniah (Jeremiah 22:24, 28; Jeremiah 37:1). The two names Jehoiachin and Jeconiah have exactly the same meaning, "Yahweh doth establish"; and Coniah is a synonym, "the establishing of Yahweh." The Divine name which begins Jehoiachin is transferred to the end in Jeconiah and Coniah; and the Hiphil imperfect of the verb kun, which is seen in Jehoiachin, has been replaced by the Qal imperfect of the verb kanan in Jeconiah, and by the construct infinitive of the same species in Coniah. Parallel cases occur in Assyrian and Babylonian literature, among which the two forms of the king's name, Zamama-shum-iddina and Zamama-nadin-shum, exhibit both the transposition of constituent parts and an interchange of preterite and participle.

4. Methods of Abbreviation:

Twin forms like Abiner and Abner, Abishalom and Absalom, Elizaphan and Elzaphan, are not the full name and its abbreviation by syncopation, but are merely two variant, equally legitimate, modes of combining the constituent parts. The common methods of shortening were:

(1) contraction by the rejection of a weak consonant or the apocopation of a final unaccented vowel, notably illustrated by the divine name yeho- at the beginning and -yahu at the end of proper names: hence, Jehoash became Joash (2 Kings 12:1, 19), and Amaziahu became Amaziah (2 Kings 14:1, 8 Hebrew text, and 8);

(2) abbreviation of composite geographical names by the omission of the generic noun or its equivalent: Jerusalem, which to the Hebrews meant "foundation of peace," was shortened to Salem, "peace" (Psalm 76:2); Kiriath-baal, "city of Baal" (Joshua 15:60), to Baal or Baalah (Joshua 15:9, 10; compare 2 Samuel 6:2); Beeshterah, "house or temple of Astarte," to Ashtaroth; Beth-lebaoth, "house of lionesses," to Lebaoth; Beth-azmaveth to Azmaveth; Beth-rehob to Rehob; Beth-bamoth to Bamoth (M S, l. 27, with Numbers 21:19); Beth-baal-meon to Baal-meon (Numbers 32:38 Joshua 13:17); the same custom existed among the Moabites who spoke of this town indifferently as Beth-baal-meon and Baal-meon (M S, ll.9, 30);

(3) abbreviation by the omission of the divine name: thus the name of the idolater Micaiah, which means, "who is like Yahweh?" (Judges 17:1, 4 (Hebrew)), was shortened to Micah, "who is like?" (Judges 17:5, 8); and similarly in the case of three other men, namely the prophet (Micaiah, Jeremiah 26:18 the English Revised Version, and Micah, Micah 1:1), the Levite musician (Nehemiah 12:35 with Nehemiah 11:17, 22), and the father of Abdon (2 Kings 22:12 with 2 Chronicles 34:20).

The king of Judah, Yauhazi, as he was known to the Assyrians, i.e. Jehoahaz, "Yahweh hath laid hold," is called simply Ahaz, "he hath laid hold," in the Hebrew records. The town of Jabneel, "God doth cause to be built," was shortened to Jabneh, "he doth cause to be built" (Joshua 15:11 2 Chronicles 26:6; compare 1Ma 4:15); Paltiel, "deliverance of God," was curtailed to Palti, "deliverance" (1 Samuel 25:44 2 Samuel 3:15); Abijah, "Yahweh is father," to Abi (2 Chronicles 29:1 with 2 Kings 18:2); and Bamoth-baal, "high places of Baal," to Bamoth (Joshua 13:17 with Numbers 21:19). Abdi, Othni, Uzzi, and not a few other similar names, probably represent curtailment of this sort. The omission of the Divine title has parallels in Assyrian and Babylonian literature: thus Nabu-nadin-ziri and Nabu-shum-ukin were called Nadinu and Shum-ukin respectively (Dynastic Tablet number 2, col. iv, 4, 5, with Babylonian Chron., col. i, 13, 16).

(4) Abbreviation by the elision of the initial consonant, yet so that the remainder is a synonymous name of complete grammatical form. The name of King Hezekiah was written by the Hebrews both yechizchiyah, "Yahweh doth strengthen," and chizchiyah, "Yahweh is strength." The two forms interchange many times in 2 Chronicles 29, 30, 31, 32, 33. Similarly, Jeconiah was shortened to Coniah, as has already been noticed; the name of the town Jekabzeel, "God bringeth together," to Kabzeel, "God's bringing together" (Nehemiah 11:25 with Joshua 15:21 2 Samuel 23:20); Meshelemiah, "Yahweh is recompensing," to Shelemiah, "Yahweh's recompensing" (1 Chronicles 26:1, 2 with 1 Chronicles 26:14); Meshullam, "recompensed," to Shallum, "recompensed" (1 Chronicles 9:11 Nehemiah 11:11 with 1 Chronicles 6:12 Ezra 7:2).

II. The Range of Proper Names.

1. Personal Names:

(1) Not Exclusively Descriptive.

Simonis in his Onomasticum, published in 1741, and Gesenius in his Thesaurus, issued during the years from 1835 to 1853, endeavored to interpret the proper names as though they were ordinarily intended to characterize the person who bore them. Embarrassed by theory, Gesenius translated Malchiel by "rex Dei, h. e. a Deo constitutus"; and Simonis translated Malchi-shua by "regis auxilium, i.e. auxilium s. salus regi patri praestita"; Ammizabad was rendered by Gesenius "famulus largitoris, h.e. Jehovae," and by Simonis "populum (i.e. copiosissimam liberorum turbam) donavit"; Gesenius translated Gedaliah "quem Jehova educavit vel roboravit," Zerahiah "cui Jehova ortum dedit," Jehozadak "quem Jehova justum fecit," and Joel "cui Jehova est deus, i.e. cultor Jehovae"; but Simonis rendered Joel by "Jehoua (eat) Deus.... vel (cui) Jehoua Deus (eat)." Now Malchiel means "God is king," Malchi-shua "the king, i.e. God, is salvation" (compare Joshua), Ammizabad "the Kinsman hath endowed," Gedaliah "Yah is great," Zerahiah "Yahweh hath risen in splendor," Jehozadak "Yahweh is righteous," and Joel, if a compound name, "Yah is God." A moment's reflection makes clear that these names do not describe the persons who bear them, but in every case speak of God. They emphasize the important facts that personal names might be, and often were, memorial and doctrinal, and that personal names were a part of the ordinary speech of the people, full of meaning and intelligible to all, subject to the phonetic laws of the Hebrews, and obedient to the rules of grammar.

(2) Drawn from a Wide Field.

Parents named their children, and contemporaries dubbed people, from physical and spiritual traits, whether a beauty or a blemish; thus Hophni, "pertaining to the fist," Japhia, "gleaming," Ikkesh, "perverse," Ira, "watchful," Gareb, "rough-skinned," and Hiddai, "joyful." Children were called by the names of natural objects, as Peninnah, "coral," Rimmon, "pomegranate," Tamar, "palm tree," Nahash, "serpent," Eglah, "heifer," Aiah, "bird of prey," and Laish, "lion"; or after kinsfolk or remoter members of the clan, as Absalom's daughter Tamar bore the name of her father's beautiful sister, and as the priest Phinehas took his strange name from the noted Phinehas, who belonged to the same father's house in earlier days. Or the name given to the child furnished a memorial of events in the national history, like Ichabod, "the glory is not" (1 Samuel 4:21), and probably Obed-edom, "Edom is serving" (compare 1 Samuel 14:47; 1 Samuel 21:7); or it told of circumstances attending the child's birth, as Saul, "asked," and Elishama, "God hath heard"; or it embodied an article of the parent's creed, as Joab and Abijah, "Yah is a father," Joel, "Yah is God"; or it expressed a hope concerning the child or bore witness to a prophecy, as Jedidiah, "beloved of Yahweh," and Solomon, "peaceable" (2 Samuel 12:25 1 Chronicles 22:9). Sometimes the name of the tribe or race to which a man belonged became his popular designation, as Cushi, "Cushite." All of these examples have been cited from the records of one period of Israel's history, the times of Samuel and David.

(3) Influences Leading to Choice.

The people in general gathered names for their children freely from all parts of this wide field, but in certain circles influences were at work which tended to restrict the choice to a smaller area. These influences were religious:

(a) In homes of piety conscious nearness to God on the part of the parents naturally prompted them to bestow religious names upon their children. The name may be without distinct religious mark in its form and meaning, as Ephraim, "double fruitfulness," Manasseh, "making to forget," and yet have been given in acknowledgment of God's grace and be a constant reminder of His goodness (Genesis 41:51, 52); or the name may be religious in form, as Shemaiah, "Yah hath heard," and publicly testify to the parents' gratitude to God.

(b) The covenant relation, which Yahweh entered into with Israel, made the name Yahweh, and that aspect of God's character which is denoted by this name, peculiarly precious to the people of God, and thenceforth the word Yahweh became a favorite element in the personal names of the Israelites, though not, of course, to the exclusion of the great name El, "God."

(c) Among the kings in the line of David, the consciousness of their formal adoption by Yahweh to be His vicegerents on the throne of Israel (2 Samuel 7 Psalm 2) found expression in the royal names. Yahweh, the God of Israel, was acknowledged in the personal name Abijah, borne by the son and successor of Rehoboam. But his was an isolated case, unless the name Asa is an abbreviated form. But with Jehoshaphat, Abijah's grandson, early in the 9th century, the custom became established. Henceforth it was conventional for the king of Judah to have for his name a sentence with Yahweh as its subject. The only exceptions among the 16 successors of Asa on the throne were Manasseh and his son Amon, both of whom were notoriously apostate from Yahweh. The full name of Ahaz was Jehoahaz. Josiah's son Shallum as king was known as Jehoahaz; and his brother Eliakim, when placed on the throne by Pharaoh-necoh, was given the name Jehoiakim.

(d) Akin to the influence exerted by the relation of the kings to the God of Israel, and manifesting almost equal power contemporaneously with it, was the influence of official connection with the sanctuary, either as priests or as subordinate ministers, and it frequently led to the choice of an ecclesiastical name containing the word God or Yahweh. During the five centuries and a half, beginning near the close of Solomon's reign and extending to the end of Nehemiah's administration, 22 high priests held office, so far as their names have been preserved in the records. Of these pontiffs 17 bear names which are sentences with Yahweh as subject, and another is a sentence with El as subject. The materials for investigation along this line are not complete, as they are in the case of the kings, and ratios derived from them are apt to be erroneous; but evidently the priests of Yahweh's temple at Jerusalem not only recognized the appropriateness for themselves and their families of names possessing a general religious character, but came to favor such as expressly mentioned God, especially those which mentioned God by His name of Yahweh.

(4) Popularity of Names: Hard to Determine.

Until abundant data come to light for all periods of the history, it is precarious to attempt to determine the relative popularity of the various kinds and types of names in any one generation, or to compare period with period with respect to the use or neglect of a particular class of names. For, first, in no period are the names which have been transmitted by the Hebrew records many as compared with the thousands in use at the time; and, secondly, the records deal with the historical event which was conspicuous at the moment, and rarely mention persons other than the actors in this event.

At one time men and women from the middle class of society are asserting themselves in the national life, and the personal names current in the families of farmers, shopkeepers and soldiers obtain place in the annals; at another time, when the activities of the court are of paramount importance, it is mainly names that were current in official circles which are chronicled; at yet another period, when matters of the national worship engaged the attention of the state, ecclesiastics and laymen from pious families, whose names were quite likely to have a religious meaning, receive mention. Very few names outside of the particular circle concerned are preserved in the records. It is unwarranted, therefore, to draw inferences regarding the relative use of particular names, secular names, for instance, at different periods of the history of Israel, by comparing the number of these names found in a record of political uprisings in the army with the number of similar names in the narrative of an episode which occurred at a later date and in which only priests took part. It is comparing things that differ. It is comparing the number of certain names current in military circles with the number of the same names among ecclesiastics, in order to learn whether these names were more common among the people as a whole in the one period than in the other.

2. Geographical Names:

The brine of its waters led the ancient Hebrews to call the Dead Sea the Salt Sea. Bethesda, "house of mercy," received its name from the belief in the healing virtue of its waters; Lebanon, "white," from the snows that cover its crest; Sidon on the Mediterranean Sea and Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, from their fisheries; Tyre, from the great rock in the sea on which it was built; the valley of Elah, from the terebinth tree; Luz, from the almond tree; Shittim, from the acacia groves on the eastern terrace of the Jordan valley; and Jericho, from the fragrance of its palms and balsams. The "crags of the wild goats" and En-gedi, "kid spring" (1 Samuel 24:1, 2), were in a desolate, rocky region where the wild goats had their home; Aijalon signifies "place of harts," and Etam denotes a "place of beasts and birds of prey." The hopes of a people and pride in their town were expressed in names like Joppa, "beauty," Tirzah, "pleasantness," Janoah, "rest," Shiloh, "tranquillity," and Salem, "peace." The resemblance of the Sea of Galilee in shape to a harp secured for it its ancient name of Chinnereth. Poetic imagination saw in majestic Mt. Hermon likeness to a soldier's breastplate, and forthwith the mountain was called Serion and Senir. The sanctuary of a deity might give name to a town, hence, Beth-dagon, Beth-anath, and Ashtaroth. Sometimes the name of a place commemorated a victory, as rock Oreb, rock Zeeb, and Eben-ezer (Judges 7:25 1 Samuel 7:12); or enshrined a religious transaction or experience, Beth-el and Beracah (Genesis 28:17-19 2 Chronicles 20:26); or told of a migration, as when colonists gave the name of their native town to their new settlement (Judges 1:23-26). Often the name of the founder or other famous inhabitant became attached to a town, and that for various reasons. It was often necessary to distinguish places of the same name from each other by this method; thus certain of the towns called Gibeah became Gibeath-saul and Gibeath-phinehas. The Jebusite stronghold captured by David was named by him the city of David, and was known by this name, as a quarter of Jerusalem, for many generations (2 Samuel 5:9 2 Kings 16:20). The practice was common among the Semitic contemporaries of Israel, as is illustrated by Dur-sharruken, "Sargonsburg," and Kar-shalmanasharidu, "Shalmaneser's fortress." A town might also be named after the tribe which inhabited it or after the ancestor of the tribe, as Dan (Judges 18:29), and possibly under not a few geographical designations a tribal name is hidden, even when the fact has escaped record and is not revealed by the form of the name. In an inquiry after the origin of a geographical designation the first consideration is due to the causes known to be ordinarily at work in giving rise to names of the same aspect as the one under scrutiny; and only when they fail to yield a suitable explanation are less obvious causes worthy of serious attention.

III. Characteristics of Biblical References.

1. Derivation of Names Manifest:

As a rule, Semitic words clearly reveal their origin and structure. The Semite might, indeed, err with respect to the particular meaning intended, where a word was current in several significations. Thus, the vale of bakha', mentioned in Psalm 84:7 (Eng. 6), is open to two interpretations: namely, "valley of Baca," so called from the balsam trees in it, and "valley of weeping," as the versions render the unusual form, regarding it as equivalent to a similar word meaning "weeping." The plural bekha'im, "mulberry or balsam trees" (2 Samuel 5:23, 14), was understood by Josephus to denote a grove known by the name Weepers (Ant., VII, iv, 1; compare Septuagint). In those rare cases where several derivations were possible, the Israelite may not always have known which thought was intended to be embodied in the name which he heard. But he discerned the alternative possibilities; and a parent, in bestowing a name ambiguous in its derivation, might be deliberately taking advantage of its power to be the vehicle for the suggestion and expression of two thoughts (Genesis 30:23, 24; Joseph being derivable from both yacaph and 'acaph).

2. The Narrator's Only Concern:

That the object of the Biblical writer was not to make known the derivation of the proper names is clear from cases like Esek, Rehoboth and Ishmael (Genesis 16:11; Genesis 26:20, 22): Isaac called the name of the well, Contention, because the herdsmen of Gerar "contended" with him; another well he called Broad Places (roomy places), because Yahweh had "made room" for him; and Hagar was directed to name the son that she was about to bear "God doth hear," because Yahweh had "heard" her affliction. The narrator's purpose was not to declare that the Hebrew word for contention, 'eceq, is derived from the Hebrew verb for "contend," 'acaq, and that the name "God doth hear," yishma`'el, signifies God doth hear, yishma` 'el. These derivations and meanings were plain. The purpose was to state the circumstances which led to the choice of the name. There are instances also where no part of the name reappears in the words that state the reason for the use of the name. For example, the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz is not explained by citing the words which compose it. One noun of the composite name appears, indeed, in the exposition of the meaning, but accidentally as it were, and without prominence or significance of position (Isaiah 8:3, 4). Samuel is a notable example of this method. Hannah called his name Samuel, saying, `Because of Yahweh, I asked him' (1 Samuel 1:20). Simonis, Ewald and Nestle derive the name from shemua`'el, "heard of God." This etymology would fully satisfy the reason given for the mother's choice of the name; but the suggested derivation is far-fetched, for it is not customary for a Hebrew word to lose the strong guttural `ayin (`). The guttural was not lost, but was distinctly heard, in Ishmael, where there is the same concurrence of sounds as in shemua`'el. Qimchi, on the other hand, suggested that Samuel is a contraction of sha'ul me'el, "asked of God"; and Ewald asserts that this origin is theory of the narrator (Lehrbuch der hebraischen Sprache, 275, note 3). This is incredible. Such a contraction is "alien to the genius of the Hebrew language'' (Driver, Text of Samuel, 13), and the absence of the two Hebrew consonants 'aleph (') and lamedh (l) before the letter "m" in the midst of the name Samuel would of itself prevent the Semite from imagining such an etymology. The derivation and meaning of Samuel were not obscure. The type was common, and was especially familiar by reason of the name Peniel, "face of God" (Genesis 32:30 f). Samuel means "name of God" (Gesenius). As Jacob, upon his return from Paddan-aram, in fulfillment of his vow erected an altar at Beth-el as a memorial of God's bestowal of the promised blessings and named the place thus consecrated "The God of Beth-el" (Genesis 35:1, 3, 7), so Hannah having by vow dedicated to Yahweh the son for whose birth she was praying, now that her prayer has been answered and the son given, calls him "The name of God" in commemoration of the Giver. The Biblical narrator states the motive which led the mother to choose the name Samuel for her child. In this explanation no part of the name is used. Moreover, the slight assonance between shemu'el and she'iltiw in 1 Samuel 1:20 was unsought, for these words are separated in the Hebrew text, and the emphasis is placed on the gift's being "from Yahweh." The history of the discussion concerning this name shows how far astray criticism has been led by the false theory that the purpose of the narrator was to analyze the name and declare its derivation.

Reuben affords evidence to the same effect. The name was known to the early Hebrews in this form exclusively.

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prop'-er: For the King James Version "proper" (child), in Hebrews 11:23, the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "goodly"; in 1 Chronicles 29:3 1 Corinthians 7:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "own" is employed, and for the too emphatic "their proper tongue" in Acts 1:19 "their language" is written. But none of the King James Version forms are really obsolete.



433. aneko -- to be fit, be proper
... to be fit, be proper. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: aneko Phonetic Spelling:
(an-ay'-ko) Short Definition: is due, becoming, suitable, proper Definition ...
// - 7k

4241. prepo -- to be fitting, proper, suitable
... to be fitting, proper, suitable. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: prepo Phonetic
Spelling: (prep'-o) Short Definition: it becomes, is fitting to Definition ...
// - 7k

2520. katheko -- to be proper or fitting
... to be proper or fitting. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: katheko Phonetic
Spelling: (kath-ay'-ko) Short Definition: it is fitting Definition: I come down ...
// - 6k

2398. idios -- one's own, distinct
... Usage due (1), friends (1), himself (4), home (1), individually (1), one's own
(1), own (84), owner (1), private* (1), privately* (7), proper (4), themselves ( ...
// - 8k

2466. Isachar -- Issachar.
... Part of Speech: Proper Noun, Indeclinable Transliteration: Isachar Phonetic Spelling:
(ee-sakh-ar') Short Definition: Issachar Definition: Issachar, a proper ...
// - 6k

807. aschemoneo -- to act unbecomingly
... Cognate: 807 (from 809 , "without proper shape, form") -- to act unseemly (literally,
"improperly"); (figuratively) to lack proper form and hence thought of as ...
// - 7k

2490. Ioannas -- Joannas.
... Part of Speech: Proper Noun, Indeclinable Transliteration: Ioannas Phonetic Spelling:
(ee-o-an-nas') Short Definition: Joanan Definition: Joanan, a proper name ...
// - 6k

5534. chre -- it is necessary, fitting
... it is necessary, fitting. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: chre Phonetic Spelling:
(khray) Short Definition: it is necessary, proper Definition: it is ...
// - 6k

2501. Ioseph -- Joseph, the name of several Israelites
... Joseph, the name of several Israelites. Part of Speech: Proper Noun, Indeclinable
Transliteration: Ioseph Phonetic Spelling: (ee-o-safe') Short Definition ...
// - 6k

3093. Magadan -- Magadan, an unidentified place near the Sea of ...
... Magadan, an unidentified place near the Sea of Galilee. Part of Speech: Proper Noun,
Indeclinable Transliteration: Magadan Phonetic Spelling: (mag-dal-ah ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
3787. kasher -- to be advantageous, proper, or suitable, to ...
... kasher. 3788 . to be advantageous, proper, or suitable, to succeed. Transliteration:
kasher Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-share') Short Definition: success. ...
/hebrew/3787.htm - 6k

3068. Yhvh -- the proper name of the God of Israel
... 3067, 3068. Yhvh. 3069 . the proper name of the God of Israel. Transliteration:
Yhvh Phonetic Spelling: (yeh-ho-vaw') Short Definition: LORD. ...
/hebrew/3068.htm - 6k

749. arak -- fitting, proper
arak or arik. 748, 749. arak or arik. 750 . fitting, proper. Transliteration:
arak or arik Phonetic Spelling: (ar-ak') Short Definition: fitting. ...
/hebrew/749.htm - 6k

6010. emeq -- a vale
... dale, vale, valley often used as a part of proper names. From amaq; a vale (ie Broad
depression) -- dale, vale, valley (often used as a part of proper names). ...
/hebrew/6010.htm - 6k

5459. segullah -- possession, property
... jewel, peculiar treasure, proper good, special. Feminine passive participle
of an unused root meaning to shut up; wealth (as closely ...
/hebrew/5459.htm - 6k

136. Adonay -- Lord
... my Lord. Am emphatic form of 'adown; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only) --
(my) Lord. see HEBREW 'adown. 135, 136. Adonay. 137 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/136.htm - 6k

251. ach -- a brother
... like, other. Compare also the proper names beginning with "Ah-" or "Ahi-".
see HEBREW 'ab. 250, 251. ach. 252 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/251.htm - 6k

3559. kun -- to be firm
... to set up, in a great variety of applications, whether literal (establish, fix,
prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous ...
/hebrew/3559.htm - 7k

5324. natsab -- to take one's stand, stand
... prim root; to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively) -- appointed,
deputy, erect, establish, X Huzzah (by mistake for a proper name), lay ...
/hebrew/5324.htm - 6k

833. ashar -- to go straight, go on, advance
... a primitive root; to be straight (used in the widest sense, especially to be level,
right, happy); figuratively, to go forward, be honest, proper -- (call, be ...
/hebrew/833.htm - 6k


Whether it is Proper to Christ to be the Mediator of God and Man?
it is proper to Christ to be the Mediator of God and man? ...
// theologica/whether it is proper to 5.htm

Whether it is Proper to the Father to be Unbegotten?
... OF THE PERSON OF THE FATHER (FOUR ARTICLES) Whether it is proper to the
Father to be unbegotten? Objection 1: It would seem that ...
// theologica/whether it is proper to.htm

Whether this is the Proper Form for the Consecration of the Bread ...
... OF THE FORM OF THIS SACRAMENT (SIX ARTICLES) Whether this is the proper
form for the consecration of the bread: "This is My body"? ...
/...// theologica/whether this is the proper.htm

Whether the Fulness of Grace is Proper to Christ?
the fulness of grace is proper to Christ? Objection 1: It ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the fulness of grace.htm

Whether it is Proper to Christ to be the Redeemer?
Christ to be the Redeemer? ... Therefore it is not proper to Christ. ...
// theologica/whether it is proper to 6.htm

Whether "Gift" is the Proper Name of the Holy Ghost?
the proper name of the Holy Ghost? Objection 1: It would ...
/...// theologica/whether gift is the proper.htm

Whether it is Proper to Christ to be Head of the Church?
Whether it is proper to Christ to be Head of the Church? ...
// theologica/whether it is proper to 3.htm

Whether this is the Proper Form for the Consecration of the Wine ...
... OF THE FORM OF THIS SACRAMENT (SIX ARTICLES) Whether this is the proper form for
the consecration of the wine: "This is the chalice of My blood," etc.? ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether this is the proper 2.htm

Whether it is Proper to the Rational Nature to be Adopted?
to the rational nature to be adopted? Objection 1: It would ...
// theologica/whether it is proper to 4.htm

Whether "Love" is the Proper Name of the Holy Ghost?
the proper name of the Holy Ghost? Objection 1: It would ...
/...// theologica/whether love is the proper.htm

Proper (62 Occurrences)
... 2. (a.) Belonging to the natural or essential constitution; peculiar; not common;
particular; as, every animal has his proper instincts and appetites. ...
/p/proper.htm - 57k

Abi (2 Occurrences)
... These forms have characteristics which complicate the question of their
use in proper names. Especially ... question. See NAMES, PROPER. ...
/a/abi.htm - 12k

Nehushtan (1 Occurrence)
... stands. 2. Derivation: A Proper Noun: There are at least three considerations,
however, which throw doubt upon this interpretation. ...
/n/nehushtan.htm - 11k

Right (4703 Occurrences)
... true. 4. (a.) Fit; suitable; proper; correct; becoming; as, the right man
in the right place; the right way from London to Oxford. 5 ...
/r/right.htm - 14k

Upharsin (1 Occurrence)
... finished it (or delivered it up). Both of these meanings can be shown to be
proper to the menah. Teqel, on the contrary, is interpreted ...
/u/upharsin.htm - 11k

Lebanon (66 Occurrences)
... running southward from the Caucasus, and at its lower end forking into two parallel
ranges, the eastern or Anti-Lebanon, and the western or Lebanon proper. ...
/l/lebanon.htm - 45k

Tidy (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) The wren; -- called also tiddy. 2. (superl.) Being
in proper time; timely; seasonable; favorable; as, tidy weather. ...
/t/tidy.htm - 7k

Temper (14 Occurrences)
... 2. (vt) To fit together; to adjust; to accommodate. 3. (vt) To bring to a proper
degree of hardness; as, to temper iron or steel. 4. (vt) To govern; to manage. ...
/t/temper.htm - 13k

Tune (15 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) The state of giving the proper, sound or sounds; just intonation; harmonious
accordance; pitch of the voice or an instrument; adjustment of the parts ...
/t/tune.htm - 12k

Tekel (2 Occurrences)
... finished it (or delivered it up). Both of these meanings can be shown to be
proper to the menah. Teqel, on the contrary, is interpreted ...
/t/tekel.htm - 11k

What is theology proper / Paterology? |

How to pray? What is the proper way to pray? |

Does the Bible say what is the proper age for marriage? |

Proper: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Proper (62 Occurrences)

Matthew 3:15
But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
(See NIV)

Matthew 21:41
"He will put the wretches to a wretched death," was the reply, "and will entrust the vineyard to other vine-dressers who will render the produce to him at the vintage season."
(See NAS)

Matthew 24:45
"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season?

Luke 1:20
Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn't believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."

Luke 2:3
and all were going to be enrolled, each to his proper city,

Luke 12:42
"Who, then," replied the Lord, "is the faithful and intelligent steward whom his Master will put in charge of His household to serve out their rations at the proper times?

Luke 14:35
It is proper neither for land nor for dung; it is cast out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Luke 20:10
At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty.

Acts 1:19
And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

Acts 1:25
to receive the share of this ministration and apostleship, from which Judas, by transgression, did fall, to go on to his proper place;'

Acts 2:6
and the rumour of this having come, the multitude came together, and was confounded, because they were each one hearing them speaking in his proper dialect,

Acts 2:8
and how do we hear, each in our proper dialect, in which we were born?

Acts 13:28
Though they found no cause for death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
(See NIV)

Romans 1:28
And, according as they did not approve of having God in knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mind, to do the things not seemly;

1 Corinthians 7:2
and because of the whoredom let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her proper husband;

1 Corinthians 7:7
For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

1 Corinthians 11:13
Judge for yourselves. Is it appropriate that a woman pray to God unveiled?

1 Corinthians 15:23
and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,

1 Corinthians 15:38
and God doth give to it a body according as He willed, and to each of the seeds its proper body.

1 Corinthians 16:4
And if it be proper that I should go also, they shall go with me.

2 Corinthians 10:13
But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but within the boundaries with which God appointed to us, which reach even to you.

Galatians 6:9
and in the doing good we may not be faint-hearted, for at the proper time we shall reap -- not desponding;

Ephesians 4:16
Dependent on Him, the whole body--its various parts closely fitting and firmly adhering to one another-- grows by the aid of every contributory link, with power proportioned to the need of each individual part, so as to build itself up in a spirit of love.

Ephesians 5:3
But evil acts of the flesh and all unclean things, or desire for others' property, let it not even be named among you, as is right for saints;
(Root in BBE NAS NIV)

2 Thessalonians 2:6
Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
(See NIV)

1 Timothy 2:6
who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times;

1 Timothy 2:9
In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing;
(See NAS)

1 Timothy 2:10
but -- which becometh women professing godly piety -- through good works.
(See NAS)

1 Timothy 3:4
one who rules his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence;
(See NIV)

1 Timothy 5:13
Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
(See NAS)

1 Timothy 6:15
which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Titus 1:3
(and He manifested in proper times His word,) in preaching, which I was entrusted with, according to a charge of God our Saviour,

Philemon 1:8
Therefore, though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate,
(See NAS)

Hebrews 11:11
By faith also Sarah herself did receive power to conceive seed, and she bare after the time of life, seeing she did judge Him faithful who did promise;
(See NAS)

Hebrews 11:23
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time;
(See NAS)

Jude 1:6
And angels--those who did not keep the position originally assigned to them, but deserted their own proper abode--He reserves in everlasting bonds, in darkness, in preparation for the judgement of the great day.

Genesis 2:23
and the man saith, 'This 'is' the 'proper' step! bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh!' for this it is called Woman, for from a man hath this been taken;

Exodus 5:8
and the proper quantity of the bricks which they are making heretofore ye do put on them, ye do not diminish from it, for they are remiss, therefore they are crying, saying, Let us go, let us sacrifice to our God;

Exodus 8:26
And Moses said, It is not proper to do so; for we should sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God: lo, if we sacrificed the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, would they not stone us?

Exodus 30:32
on flesh of man it is not poured, and with its proper proportion ye make none like it; it 'is' holy; it is holy to you;

Exodus 30:37
As to the perfume which thou makest, with its proper proportion ye do not make to yourselves, holy it is to thee to Jehovah;

Leviticus 5:15
"If anyone commits a trespass, and sins unwittingly, in the holy things of Yahweh; then he shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, a ram without blemish from the flock, according to your estimation in silver by shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.
(See NIV)

Leviticus 5:18
He shall bring a ram without blemish from of the flock, according to your estimation, for a trespass offering, to the priest; and the priest shall make atonement for him concerning the thing in which he sinned and didn't know it, and he will be forgiven.
(See NIV)

Leviticus 6:6
He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, a ram without blemish from the flock, according to your estimation, for a trespass offering, to the priest.
(See NIV)

Leviticus 23:37
These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt-offering, and a meal-offering, a sacrifice, and drink-offerings, each on its own day;
(See RSV)

Numbers 23:23
Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel. Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God done!
(See NAS)

Judges 6:26
and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down."
(See NIV)

2 Samuel 15:3
Absalom said to him, "Behold, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputized by the king to hear you."
(See NIV)

1 Chronicles 23:31
and to offer all burnt offerings to Yahweh, on the Sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, in number according to the ordinance concerning them, continually before Yahweh;
(See NIV)

1 Chronicles 29:3
Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.

2 Chronicles 24:13
And those doing the business work, and there goeth up lengthening to the work by their hand, and they establish the house of God, by its proper measure, and strengthen it.

Ezra 4:14
Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not appropriate for us to see the king's dishonor, therefore have we sent and informed the king;
(See NIV)

Esther 8:5
And she said: 'If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews that are in all the king's provinces;
(See NAS)

Job 33:27
He cometh before men, and saith: 'I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not.'
(See NAS)

Ecclesiastes 5:18
Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

Ecclesiastes 6:3
If a man has a hundred children, and his life is long so that the days of his years are great in number, but his soul takes no pleasure in good, and he is not honoured at his death; I say that a birth before its time is better than he.

Ecclesiastes 8:5
Whoever keeps the law will come to no evil: and a wise man's heart has knowledge of time and of decision.

Ecclesiastes 8:6
For every purpose there is a time and a decision, because the sorrow of man is great in him.

Ecclesiastes 10:17
Happy is the land whose ruler is of noble birth, and whose chiefs take food at the right time, for strength and not for feasting.

Isaiah 28:25
When the face of the earth has been levelled, does he not put in the different sorts of seed, and the grain in lines, and the barley in its place, and the spelt at the edge?
(See RSV)

Jeremiah 30:18
Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will turn again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have compassion on his dwelling places; and the city shall be built on its own hill, and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner.
(See NIV)



Proper Dress

Proper Names

Related Terms

Abi (2 Occurrences)

Nehushtan (1 Occurrence)

Right (4703 Occurrences)

Upharsin (1 Occurrence)

Lebanon (66 Occurrences)

Tidy (1 Occurrence)

Temper (14 Occurrences)

Tune (15 Occurrences)

Tekel (2 Occurrences)

Rabmag (2 Occurrences)

Rab-mag (2 Occurrences)

Door (249 Occurrences)

Mene (2 Occurrences)

Belial (23 Occurrences)

Ah (43 Occurrences)

Spell (2 Occurrences)

Satan (50 Occurrences)

Lady (37 Occurrences)

Properly (11 Occurrences)



Lazarus (19 Occurrences)

Nebuchadrezzar (31 Occurrences)

Ucal (1 Occurrence)

Official (45 Occurrences)

Jerahmeel (9 Occurrences)


Jerahmeelites (2 Occurrences)

Justify (19 Occurrences)

Josheb-basshebeth (1 Occurrence)

Latin (2 Occurrences)

Labors (27 Occurrences)

Late (24 Occurrences)

Limits (69 Occurrences)

Limit (115 Occurrences)

Gallery (2 Occurrences)

Well (2882 Occurrences)

File (1 Occurrence)

Fit (47 Occurrences)

Train (17 Occurrences)

Threshold (28 Occurrences)

Remembrancer (8 Occurrences)

Elect (32 Occurrences)

Exceed (14 Occurrences)

Easter (1 Occurrence)

Enter (372 Occurrences)

Decently (2 Occurrences)

Decency (1 Occurrence)

Due (93 Occurrences)

Meet (281 Occurrences)

Malachi (2 Occurrences)

Mered (2 Occurrences)

Premature (1 Occurrence)

Proportion (15 Occurrences)

Become (3516 Occurrences)

Barabbas (10 Occurrences)

Beth (115 Occurrences)

Compose (1 Occurrence)


Check (9 Occurrences)

Curse (211 Occurrences)

Abimael (2 Occurrences)




Aceldama (1 Occurrence)


Stray (12 Occurrences)

Share (138 Occurrences)

Shiloh (34 Occurrences)

Sphere (3 Occurrences)

Sharp (115 Occurrences)


Season (101 Occurrences)

Place (9195 Occurrences)

World (2829 Occurrences)

Order (809 Occurrences)

Time (7245 Occurrences)

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